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Reviving the Kishon River

Since 2001, five factories have been legally permitted to produce 10,000 cubic meters of dangerous sewage each day and release it into the Kishon River which runs through Israel’s northern city of Haifa. Severe pollution in Haifa’s Kishon River had reached lethal levels. Some 50 Israeli Navy Seals divers, who trained in its waters, died of cancer, and many more fell ill. Together with Navy veterans, Zalul mounted a high-profile campaign to clean up the Kishon and protect the surrounding community. The resulting public outcry, including mass demonstrations, persuaded local and national lawmakers to give the issue top priority.

As a result of the campaign, Zalul persuaded local and national leaders to make the issue a high priority – only for the Ministry of the Environment to devise an alternative plan to send the untreated sewage through a pipeline to the sea just two kilometers away from a popular bathing area. Now Zalul has undertaken a new battle, this time to demand that the factories clean up their waste before releasing it anywhere. Zalul invited a leading expert in sewage treatment to visit and assist in devising alternative solutions to the pipeline by using the best available technology and is awaiting the release of the report before mounting another campaign to keep Haifa’s residents safe from the toxic pollutants that tarnish their water resources.

A recent Zalul report on the polluted river banks forced the Ministry of the Environment to thoroughly investigate the damage and its future implications.

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